The Ferrari 340 America came about in the early 1950s when Enzo Ferrari turned to Aurelio Lampredi, a gifted engineer with a background in the aeronautic field, to order him to develop a more powerful engine. Lampredi responded by designing the 'long-block' V-12, so called because the distance between adjacent cylinders was some 20mm greater than in the Colombo-designed V-12. The long-block engine made its grand prix debut in 1950 as a 340-horsepower 4.5-liter aboard Ferrari's 375 F1 single-seater. To civilize it for use in Ferrari's road cars, the 375's V-12?s bore and stroke was decreased to produce a displacement of 4.1 liters, and its compression ratio was lowered. The result was installed in the Ferrari 340 America. The cars were used on both street and track, depending upon the commissioning client's order. The 'America' moniker belied Ferrari's keen commercial instincts and the growing importance of the American market.
Featuring bodies by Ghia, Touring, or Vignale, just 24 examples were built, and only five with this Spider body by Vignale.
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